A Travel Price Comparison for Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City vs. Sapa for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Ho Chi Minh City or Sapa?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Ho Chi Minh City and Sapa can help you decide which place is right for you.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam. It previously served as the capital of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). The metropolitan area, including Ho Chi Minh City, Thu Dau Mot, Di An, Bien Hoa, and other surrounding towns, has a population of more than 9 million people and continues to grow.

Sapa

Sapa is a beautiful town in the northern mountains of Vietnam by the border with China. Many travelers pass through the area on their way from China into Hanoi. Alternatively, some travelers head north from Hanoi to spend a few days in the beautiful mountains where tribal cultures are still alive and well. There are a good number of ethnic minorities that populate the area. The eight populations in the area include H'mong, Dao, Tay, Giay, Muong, Thai, Hoa, and Xa Pho, but the vast majority in the area are H'mong. Within the town of Sapa itself, there are about 7,000 people. The rest of the population lives in the surrounding countryside and are peasant farmers.

Which city is cheaper, Sapa or Ho Chi Minh City?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Ho Chi Minh City is $71, while the average daily cost in Sapa is $31. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Ho Chi Minh City and Sapa in more detail.



Accommodation

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $86 in Ho Chi Minh City For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $22 in Sapa For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Ho Chi Minh City $43
    Sapa $11
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Ho Chi Minh City $86
    Sapa $22

Food

The average traveler spends about $13 per day in Ho Chi Minh City for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

The average traveler spends about $14 per day in Sapa for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Ho Chi Minh City $13
    Sapa $14
Typical Food prices in Ho Chi Minh City

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Ho Chi Minh City:


  • Street Food Dinner (for Two)
    $4.70
  • Pizza
    $5.71
  • Sweet Rice
    $1.32
  • Pork Sandwich
    $0.66
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $7.46
  • Western Lunch (for Two)
    $13

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Ho Chi Minh City

For Ho Chi Minh City, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Seafood Dinner in Altitude Rooftop Bar at Sheraton Nha Trang : $15
  • Ho Chi Minh Private Half Day Street Food Tour with Local Students: $18
  • The Home Pizza Phu Quoc Cash Voucher 500.000VND : $19
  • SaiGon Street Food Tour By Scooter With Student: $22
  • Tra Que Vegetable Village and Cooking Class Experience in Hoi An: $24
  • Tam Giang Lagoon Private Half Day Tour with Seafood Dinner: $26
  • Half-Day Tam Giang Sunset Tour with Dinner on Floating Restaurant: $26
  • Walking Food Tour With Local Student: $26
  • Private Street Food Tour on Motorbikes: $28
  • Hoi An City and Food Tour with Foot Massage: $28
  • Vegetarian Cooking Class in Hanoi: $28
  • Private Half-Day Ho Chi Minh Food Tour with Local Students: $28

Typical Food prices in Sapa

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Sapa:


  • Casual Dinner (for One)
    $2.99
  • Quick Breakfast (for Two)
    $2.42
  • Coffee (for Two)
    $2.64
  • Western Dinner (for Two)
    $8.76
  • Pho Soup
    $0.66

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sapa

For Sapa, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Seafood Dinner in Altitude Rooftop Bar at Sheraton Nha Trang : $15
  • The Home Pizza Phu Quoc Cash Voucher 500.000VND : $19
  • Tra Que Vegetable Village and Cooking Class Experience in Hoi An: $24
  • Tam Giang Lagoon Private Half Day Tour with Seafood Dinner: $26
  • Half-Day Tam Giang Sunset Tour with Dinner on Floating Restaurant: $26
  • Hoi An City and Food Tour with Foot Massage: $28
  • Vegetarian Cooking Class in Hanoi: $28
  • Vegetarian Cooking Class in Hoi An: $29
  • Eco Cooking and Basket Boat Tour: $29
  • M.O.M Cooking Class in Saigon: $30
  • Jolie Da Nang Cooking Class: $30
  • Saigon Cooking Class by Hoa Tuc: $31

Local Transportation

Ho Chi Minh City's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $13 per person, per day on transportation in Ho Chi Minh City.

To get around in Sapa, the average visitor spends $8.28 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Ho Chi Minh City $13
    Sapa $8.28
Typical Local Transportation prices in Ho Chi Minh City

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Ho Chi Minh City:


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $1.54
  • Taxi From Airport
    $8.79
  • Cyclo Ride (One Hour)
    $1.76

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ho Chi Minh City

Also for Ho Chi Minh City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Transfer: From Ho Chi Minh city - Siemreap (Cambodia) - MPV 7 seat: $595
  • [Flash Sale] Six Senses Con Dao with Breakfast and Transfer: $528
  • Private Car Transfers From Ho Chi Minh To Siem Reap, Cambodia: $499
  • Private transfer: From Ho Chi Minh city - Phnompenh (Cambodia) - MPV 7 seat: $311
  • An Lam Retreats Ninh Van Bay, Free Roundtrip Airport & Speedboat Transfer: $303
  • Private Car Transfers From Ho Chi Minh To Phnom penh, Cambodia: $259
  • Ho Chi Minh to Nha Trang - Private Transfer: $250
  • Private Car Transfers From Ho Chi Minh City To Dalat: $189
  • Family Combo Vinpearl Discovery Wonderworld Phu Quoc with Breakfast, Optional Roundtrip Airport Transfer and Vinwonder + Vinpearl Safari: $174
  • Private Transfer From Ho Chi Minh To Mui Ne (16 seater car): $168
  • 3D2N Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc with Free Airport Transfer, Optional F&B Credit or Vinwonders + Vinpearl Safari Ticket : $154
  • Transfer Tan Son Nhat Airport to Mui Ne (Beach resort): $150

Typical Local Transportation prices in Sapa

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Sapa are as follows:


  • Short Motorbike Ride
    $1.32

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sapa

Also for Sapa, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • [Flash Sale] Six Senses Con Dao with Breakfast and Transfer: $528
  • An Lam Retreats Ninh Van Bay, Free Roundtrip Airport & Speedboat Transfer: $303
  • Sapa Private Tour With Bus Transfer ( Sleep at hotel): $217
  • Sapa Tour 2 Day / 1 Night Transfer By Luxury Limousine From Hanoi: $174
  • Family Combo Vinpearl Discovery Wonderworld Phu Quoc with Breakfast, Optional Roundtrip Airport Transfer and Vinwonder + Vinpearl Safari: $174
  • 3D2N Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc with Free Airport Transfer, Optional F&B Credit or Vinwonders + Vinpearl Safari Ticket : $154
  • Private Departure Transfer - Sapa to Hanoi Airport: $141
  • Authentic walking and Homestay in Sapa and transfer by Bus ( 3 days 2 nights): $135
  • InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort, with Roundtrip Airport Transfer and Optional Flights : $134
  • 3D2N Sapa Tour from Hanoi with Dcar Bus Transfers: $102
  • Private City Transfers between Hanoi and Halong Bay: $100
  • Visit Cat Cat village, trekking Ta Phin and transfer by Bus: $99

Is it cheaper to fly into Ho Chi Minh City or Sapa?

Prices for flights to both Sapa and Ho Chi Minh City change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Ho Chi Minh City can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $18 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

In Sapa, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $5.39 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Ho Chi Minh City $18
    Sapa $5.39
Typical Entertainment prices in Ho Chi Minh City

For Ho Chi Minh City, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Massage
    $6.15

Tours and Activities in Ho Chi Minh City

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Ho Chi Minh City.

  • An Spa Experience in Da Nang: $13
  • Aroma Spa Foot & Body Massage Experience in Ho Chi Minh City: $9.79
  • Belle Maison Parosand Spa Experience in Da Nang: $5.75
  • Coconut Spa Experience in Ho Chi Minh: $5.05
  • Datanla New Alpine Coaster Experience in Da Lat: $6.95
  • Hai Van Pass and Lang Co Beach Private Sidecar Tour from Hoi An: $163
  • Hoi An Countryside Private Sidecar Tour (1 or 2 Hours): $50
  • Hue City Tour from Da Nang: $35
  • Laguna Luxury Private Sidecar Tour from Hoi An: $185
  • Lasenta Spa Experience in Ho Chi Minh City: $2.39
  • Linda Spa Experience in Da Nang: $5.49
  • Mam Gao Spa Experience in Ho Chi Minh: $15

Typical Entertainment prices in Sapa

For Sapa, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • CatCat Village Tax
    $1.76
  • Ta Phin Village Tax
    $0.88
  • Walking Stick
    $0.22
  • Paddle Boat Rental on Sapa Lake (1 Hr)
    $3.52

Tours and Activities in Sapa

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Sapa.

  • An Spa Experience in Da Nang: $13
  • Aroma Spa Foot & Body Massage Experience in Ho Chi Minh City: $9.79
  • Belle Maison Parosand Spa Experience in Da Nang: $5.75
  • Coconut Spa Experience in Ho Chi Minh: $5.05
  • Datanla New Alpine Coaster Experience in Da Lat: $6.95
  • Hai Van Pass and Lang Co Beach Private Sidecar Tour from Hoi An: $163
  • Hoi An Countryside Private Sidecar Tour (1 or 2 Hours): $50
  • Hue City Tour from Da Nang: $35
  • Laguna Luxury Private Sidecar Tour from Hoi An: $185
  • Lasenta Spa Experience in Ho Chi Minh City: $2.39
  • Linda Spa Experience in Da Nang: $5.49
  • Mam Gao Spa Experience in Ho Chi Minh: $15

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Ho Chi Minh City, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $7.02.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Sapa, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $7.20.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Ho Chi Minh City $7.02
    Sapa $7.20
Typical Alcohol prices in Ho Chi Minh City

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Ho Chi Minh City:


  • Beer
    $0.44

Typical Alcohol prices in Sapa

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Sapa are as follows:


  • Two Beers
    $1.10


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Ho Chi Minh City and Sapa, we can see that Ho Chi Minh City is more expensive. And not only is Sapa much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Sapa would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Sapa and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Ho Chi Minh City would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Ho Chi Minh City than you might in Sapa.

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Ho Chi Minh City vs. Sapa Travel Comparison

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